Moist delicious Zucchini Cake is an easy one layer cake perfect for summer! Fresh blueberries and delicious tangy cream cheese frosting make this moist cake a favorite recipe any time of year!
At the height of zucchini season there is only so many quick breads you can make! Instead one of my favorite go-to recipes is this Zucchini Cake recipe. It’s one of those easy cake recipes that feels like a dessert rescue. You don’t have to put much energy into it but the rewards are there when it’s served and everyone loves it!
This is a great recipe for flavorful cake and one of my favorite ways to use up the abundance of zucchini in the late summer. The moist crumbs and light flavor make this moist zucchini cake a favorite dessert recipe any time.
This lightly sweet, relaxed one-layer Zucchini Cake is a perfect choice. Easy to make and with the addition of fresh blueberries for an additional naturally sweet touch!
What is Zucchini Cake?
A kissing cousin of Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Cake is a moist lightly sweet cake incorporating grated fresh zucchini squash. Does it taste like squash? No, it doesn’t.
Why Put Zucchini in Cake?
Zucchini has a high amount of moisture. When combined with the regular cake ingredients adds to the moistness that is so appealing.
The grated zucchini blends into the cake and does not affect the texture at all.
Most importantly, the moist delicious cake does not taste like zucchini at all!
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Homemade zucchini cake has the same ingredients as a regular cake. The addition of grated zucchini and fresh blueberries is what makes this recipe special!
All-Purpose Flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour can be used for this recipe. For gluten-free baking we use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder. This combo helps the cake rise while baking.
Granulated Sugar and Light Brown Sugar. We love the flavor of combining both white and brown sugars.
Eggs. You’ll need 2 large eggs.
Vegetable Oil. This will add moisture to the easy zucchini cake.
Vanilla Extract and Cinnamon. Adds some homey flavor.
Whole Milk. Use room temperature milk. You can gently warm the milk in the microwave when taking it out of the refrigerator (don’t make it hot, just room temperature).
Grated Zucchini. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini which is about 1 medium-large zucchini. The zucchini does not need to be peeled before grating. Rinse and pat dry.
Use the shredder blade of a food processor or a box grater. Smaller pieces of zucchini work best. After grating wrap the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels and squeeze out any excess moisture before adding to the cake batter.
Fresh Blueberries. You’ll need 1 cup plus more for garnish is desired.
Best Way to Prepare a Cake Pan
Preparing a cake pan for easy release after the cake is baked is a key for success.
Though greasing and flouring the pan may work fine, I have a preferred method that always guarantees smooth release.
Lining a Cake Pan with Parchment Paper
- Cut a piece of parchment paper larger than the size of the cake pan.
- Place the cake pan on the parchment paper and trace around the bottom with a pencil onto the parchment paper.
- Cut out the parchment circle.
- Grease (I usually use butter) or spray the bottom of the pan with non-stick spray.
- Place the parchment circle inside the pan and press it to the prepared bottom.
- Spray the parchment and the sides of the pan with non-stick spray.
- Add a small amount of flour to the pan. Rotate the pan, to cover with a light layer of flour; tapping the pan to release any excess flour (discard excess).
After the cake is baked, it will come out easily and the parchment paper peels off the cake with ease too.
How to Make Zucchini Cake
This cake is easy to make! No matter what your baking skill level it’s a wonderful cake to make. No electric mixer used.
For detailed printable instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the blog post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Refer to my favorite cake pan preparation method above.
STEP 2. Make the cake batter
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, sugars and cinnamon (photo 1). Create a well in the center of the flour mixture for the wet ingredients (photo 2).
Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk into the center of the flour mixture well (photo 2). Whisk batter together until smooth (photo 3).
Fold in the grated zucchini (photo 4) and blueberries to the batter (photo 5).
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth as necessary (photo 6).
STEP 3. Bake & Cool
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean. Check the cake at 30 minutes and bake longer if needed. Top will golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
This cake can be frosted in many ways depending on your preference:
Buttercream Cream Cheese Frosting
The frosting included in the recipe is a creamy, tangy frosting option. It’s easy to make.
Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar
The Zucchini Cake flavor is light. A sprinkle of powdered sugar may be all you want!
How To: For easy dusting of the cake top, add some powdered sugar into a fine mesh sieve/strainer. Move the strainer over the top of the cake while tapping the side with the opposite hand. This creates a fine powder over the cake.
This is a great option to frost the cake but with less tanginess if cream cheese frostings are not your favorite.
Timesaving Tip: Buy premade frosting to quickly frost the cake with no effort.
Make a simple glaze
You could also make a simple powdered sugar glaze to add just a bit of extra sweetness. Add some lemon zest for a lemon blueberry zucchini cake combination!
Using a box grater. If using a box grater to grate the zucchini, place the zucchini at a 90-degree angle to the grater blade (versus holding it at an angle). This will produce smaller pieces of zucchini.
Don’t skip the squeezing step. Be sure to follow the step of wrapping the zucchini in a kitchen towel or paper towels to squeeze out excess moisture. This will give best results for the cake.
How to Store
Store the cake covered with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store it for up to 5 days. It can be served chilled though will have more flavor if room temperature.
More recipes you’ll love!
Zucchini Cake with Blueberries
- 1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour (regular or gluten-free) If making gluten-free use a measure-for-measure flour blend (I used Bobs Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour)
- 1½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3/4 cup Granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/2 cup Vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Whole milk room temperature
- 1 ½ cups grated Zucchini Wrap the shredded zucchini in a thin, clean kitchen towel, or 2 layers of paper towels and squeeze out any excess moisture.
- 1 cup fresh blueberries plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups Confectioner's (powdered) sugar sifted to remove lumps
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Heavy Cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Refer to my favorite pan preparation method in the Notes.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugars and cinnamon. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk into the center of the flour mixture well. Mix batter together until smooth.
- Fold in the grated zucchini and blueberries to the batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and baking for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out clean.
- Remove from oven. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and heavy cream and beat until smooth.
- Frost cooled cake with cream cheese frosting and garnish with additional blueberries if desired.